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Trump to keynote US Coast Guard Academy graduates on May 17

Jordan Rank throws his cover into the air as he officially becomes an ensign during the 133rd commencement exercises at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 21, 2014.

PATRICK KELLEY/U.S. COAST GUARD

By NORWICH BULLETIN, CONN. Published: April 19, 2017

NEW LONDON, Conn. (Tribune News Service) — Continuing a presidential tradition, President Donald J. Trump will be in New London next month to deliver the commencement address to U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Wednesday announced Trump's participation in the May 17 ceremony. The 135th Commencement Exercises are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Cadet Memorial Field.

The president traditionally addresses the graduating class at one of the federal service academies on a rotating basis. President Barack Obama came to the Coast Guard Academy in 2015. This will be the first time Trump will address a federal service academy graduating class as commander in chief.

"Every commencement is a special occasion, but it is particularly memorable when the president presents our future leaders with their commissions," Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. James E. Rendon said. "We are also grateful for the opportunity to highlight our Academy and our mission to develop leaders of character for the Coast Guard and the nation."

The subject of Trump's anticipated speech is unknown.

"As we grow closer to that date, we will continue to provide updates," Spicer said to the Connecticut Mirror.

The news also comes after Trump proposed a $1.3 billion cut to the Coast Guard as part of his budget proposal released earlier in the year.

New London's Acting Chief of Police Peter Reichard said the Secret Service has contacted his police department for assistance during Trump's visit and said New London Police will ensure the president's motorcade and surrounding academy grounds are secure.

Reichard said New London police are anticipating protests but said the department hadn't received any planned permits for a public demonstration.

State trooper Kelly Grant said state police will provide assistance if Secret Service requests it, but they had not been asked as of Wednesday.

Grant could not comment on whether extra security would be needed at this year's ceremony.

The Coast Guard Academy visit will be Trump's second planned address to graduates this commencement season.

He's scheduled to deliver the keynote address May 13 at graduation exercises at Virginia's Liberty University.

The event is not open to the public. Inclement weather plans call for the graduation to be held in Leamy Hall Auditorium, where seating will be limited.

©2017 Norwich Bulletin, Conn.
Visit Norwich Bulletin, Conn. at www.norwichbulletin.com
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